China’s President Xi Jinping is arriving in Seattle on Tuesday, which means traffic will suddenly be stopped or detoured to allow safe passage for his police-escorted motorcade through Thursday. (He is receiving Secret Service protection similar to the U.S. President.)
Seattle Department of Transportation has said Xi’s schedule will not be known ahead of time for security reasons, making it very difficult for drivers and bus riders to prepare. SDOT is advising people to work from home if possible, and allow extra time for travel.
Wednesday is expected to be the worst day for traffic due to Jinping’s schedule, as well as the Sounders’ match at CenturyLink Field at 7 p.m.
Buses on 22 routes that travel on Stewart and Virginia streets will be rerouted all day Tuesday and Wednesday, and early Thursday. Routes 25, 64, 66, 70, 71, 72, 73, 83, 106, 150, 177, 178, 190, 192, 252, 257, 268, 304, 308, 311, 355 and Sound Transit 545 are affected only when they are scheduled to operate via Stewart or Virginia streets.
Additionally, intermittent brief street closures and traffic slowdowns will affect travel time on area arterials and freeways. Transit service may not be able to operate on schedule during these closures, and real time departures may not report accurately in some transit apps.